Orange is the New Black star, Dascha Polanco joins The Breakfast Club for a radio interview, and ends up teaching the host, and listeners, a thing or two about being an Afro-Latina.
The actress discusses her career, OITNB character (Daya), early life, family, and Hollywood’s gender and race issues in a candid interview with the three hosts.
Everything was going smoothly, until the current Hollywood hot topic of casting Zoe Saldana in the new Nina Simone biopic came up. Many critics feel that Saldana, who is of Dominican-Puerto Rican decent, does not resemble the soul singer, and the fact that her skin was darkened for the film is further proof of bad casting, and arguably inappropriate. Polanco believes that the movie did not need the extra “prosthetics” or skin color modifications, and if that is necessary another actress, for instance her co-star Uzo Aduba (who looks more like Simone), would have been a better choice.
This led to Polanco expressing her own identification, as an Afro-Latina, a term that confused the hosts. The Dominican Republic-born actress debunks the difference between race and ethnicity:
“I consider myself an Afro-Latina. We’re very black…”
“Because I’m from the Dominican Republic but I am a bl[ack woman]… we’re talking about where you’re from, your country, and you’re talking about race/ethnicity, right?” she said. “So I am Afro-Latina.”